Dermoscopy of porokeratosis: results from a multicentre study of the International Dermoscopy Society

J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2021 Oct;35(10):2091-2096. doi: 10.1111/jdv.17439. Epub 2021 Jun 25.


Background: The diagnosis of porokeratosis can be challenging, and knowledge about its dermoscopic features is limited.

Objectives: To describe the dermoscopic features of porokeratosis of Mibelli and disseminated superficial actinic porokeratosis (DSAP) and the frequency of these features in a larger case series. The interobserver concordance was also assessed.

Methods: In this retrospective cohort study, members of the International Dermoscopy Society contributed macroscopic and dermoscopic images of histopathologically verified cases of porokeratosis of Mibelli or DSAP. Three observers independently reviewed the collected images to identify the presence of predefined dermoscopic features. Following this, a consensus meeting was held to agree upon which dermoscopic features were present in each lesion.

Results: In total, 78 clinical and dermoscopic images of porokeratoses were collected. The most common dermoscopic feature was keratin rim, which was present in 74 lesions (92.3%). The most common vascular structures were dotted or glomerular vessels which were present in almost half of the cases (48.7%). Other relatively frequent dermoscopic findings were as follows: non-peripheral scales (44.9%), grey-brown dots or pigmentation along the keratin rim (38.5%), and light-brown pigmentation within the keratin rim (33.3%). Shiny white structures and blood spots or erosions along the keratin rim were findings never before described in porokeratosis and were detected in 16.7% and 17.9% of the lesions, respectively. Dermoscopic findings in porokeratosis of Mibelli and DSAP were similar except for fewer blood spots or erosions along the keratin rim and more light-brown pigmentation within the keratin rim in DSAP. The interobserver concordance ranged from 0.44 (moderate) to 0.84 (almost perfect).

Conclusions: The dermoscopic hallmark of porokeratosis is the keratin rim, a finding also allowing for almost perfect interobserver agreement. Pigmentation or erosions along the keratin rim, vascular structures, as well as scales, pigmentation or shiny white structures within the keratin rim are additional dermoscopic clues.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Dermoscopy
  • Humans
  • Pigmentation Disorders*
  • Porokeratosis* / diagnostic imaging
  • Retrospective Studies